Division-1 Fall Ball Recaps

Both Michigan and Detroit played a pair of fall ball scrimmages over the weekend. The Wolverines were downed by both Marist and Mount St Mary’s, while the Titans split with a win over Bellarmine and a loss to Notre Dame.


The Titans beat Bellarmine 11-9 and lost to Notre Dame 7-15. That’s a decent set of results against a team that was about as good as them last spring (but lost some important pieces) and one that was among the country’s best.

The official UDM site contains a bit of information about the games. As expected, the Titans went pretty deep into the bench, including all four active goalies getting some playing time.

Andrew Khalil post-event interview. A.J. Levell’s arms cameo. Alex Maini gets to use his own arms. Jamie Hebden talks about the service aspect of the event.

Inside Lacrosse took in the action, and talks about an impressive performer in Maini:

Right out of the gates, one player who immediately impressed was junior attackman Alex Maini. Maini had three goals and three assists in the opener against Bellarmine, and added one more against Notre Dame. His quick inside roll earned him a number of chances right on the doorstep, and his vision in finding open teammates was a key part of the offense, as well.

Photos from the event.


Senior defenseman J.D. Johnson was honored with the team’s Nick Colleluori Award.

Inside Lacrosse’s recap includes pretty much nothing other than “these players saw the field.” Good effort. Lacrosse Magazine has pretty much more of the same. People can look at the roster to see where players are from, how about some observations about the product on the field?

Lax Mag does note that the offense is clearly improved (which is accurate, based on the live stream), but that there’s stil work do do (which is obvious, based on the scores).

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22 Responses to Division-1 Fall Ball Recaps

  1. WovinLA says:

    I know fall ball only means so much, but I’m surprised to see Marquette going 2-0. Well, I’m not surprised they beat High Point (someone had to win that game) but I’m pretty surprised they beat Robert Morris, who is as good as either of the teams that Michigan played.

    Is Marquette better than us? Please say no.

    • Tim says:

      High Point is going to be terrible (as in, Mercer v.2013), but the result over Robert Morris is an interesting one. I didn’t take too close a look at the Colonials since they weren’t a Michigan opponent, but I can say that they were better than either of U-M’s opponents in 2012. Mount St. Mary’s is going to be far, far better in 2013 than they were in the spring (they are going to have like eight fourth- and fifth-year seniors at their disposal, if I recall correctly), and Marist should be much improved as well.

      Still, we’ll have a chance to see in February – before the season – if Michigan’s better or not.

  2. CKLaxalum says:

    Marquette has 12 transfers (nine from D1)…and a year of practice under their belt. They will be better than “a true first year team” (as was Michigan to an extent), but the challenges of a new program will remain.

    High Point will be better than previous Mercer teams and has a higher ceiling. It will be interesting to see how High Point, Mercer, and Furman stack up to each other on the “southern new program scale”?

    Michigan vs Marquette should be a good one. Likewise, Michigan vs UDM has all the makings of a classic.

  3. Wowzer says:

    Not sure how you say Michigan UDM will be a classic. Give it two more years for michigan.

    • Tim says:

      I do think UDM is most likely a better team than Michigan, but a really, really bad Michigan team was very close to the Titans last year. It should be an interesting one to watch either way.

  4. CKLaxalum says:

    Likewise Wowser, I’m not sure why you’re saying Michigan “needs two more years” to be competitive with UDM, when it was already a tight game in the first year of the matchup. Keep in mind that Michigan played UDM to a close game with their far less talented backup goalie.

    Also, note that the scores of the common opponent games of Michigan and UDM were comparable.

  5. AndyD says:

    I agree with Wowser. Michigan may even be more talented this year, but it’s hard to overcome experience. Detroit has a lot more battle tested D1 lacrosse players. Michigan needs another year or two to build up that depth of both talent and savvy.

    I do expect that UM will eventually pass UDM pretty clearly though. There’s no way UDM can keep up with UM’s support and recruiting.

  6. Reg Hartner says:

    Let’s not reinvent history. UDM didn’t blow Michigan out, but by no means was that a tight or very close game. UM had a nice first half and considering there was zero film available for them I’m not surprised they looked good. As soon as UDM made adjustments this game swung the other way and was never in question.

    Michigan has tremendous resources and a great brand name. They will be much better in the near future, but give them some time.

  7. CKLaxalum says:

    Let’s have some honest perspective here (in addition to my previous points). First, a four goal game in lacrosse is a close game. Unlike soccer or hockey, lacrosse is a high scoring game. Second, UDM was a fourth year varsity team playing its third game of the season against a first year varsity team playing its first ever game. That fact alone makes the closeness of the score all the more glaring. Bottom line, these are two very comparable teams (at this point) that could beat each other on any given day.

    • Reg Hartner says:

      Now you’re just making stuff up.

      The fact that UDM was a 4th year team may tell us that they should have won by more, but it does not make this a close game. Once Maini was put in the game UDM dominated the 2nd half and the game was never in doubt. They emptied the bench and played 30 guys that day. Did you watch the game? This wasn’t some amazing comeback by Michigan with them winning faceoffs after goals and putting a string of goals together. This was a snoozer by the start of the 4th. UDM should have won by 10 and they didn’t. They had personnel and coaching issues last year, but that doesn’t make this a close game.

      Michigan is putting together nice recruiting classes, but they have not won anything nor arrived yet. Give them time. They’ll get there. To think this was a close game or that they could beat UDM on any given day is just a fallacy.

      • CKLaxalum says:

        Reg Hartner, I know that you know lacrosse, but I’ve also noticed that (at times) you let favoritism and friendships cloud your perspective. Unfortunately, UDM is one example.

        Look, we’re all happy that UDM was the first D1 team in this state since MSU left after 1996…and it’s an added bonus to have a team in the city of Detroit…and we all want the best for UDM…but some people have gotten carried away with their take on the Titans.

        You cannot point out one thing that I’ve said (which are all based on statistical measures) that is “made up”. On the contrary, you are putting out all commentary that isn’t backed up by facts.

        The average NCAA D1 goal differential in nearly 5 goals. Therefore a 4 goal game is below average, which indicates a close game. Also note that the average combined scoring for D1 is nearly 20 goals per game. A combined score of 22 is above average, indicating a high scoring game. Those two facts are hardly indicative of a “snoozer”, “never in doubt”, nor “dominating”.

        Furthermore, newer/lower level NCAA D1 lacrosse teams don’t beat other newer/lower level teams D1 teams by 10 goals. To suggest otherwise is complete nonsense.

        • Reg Hartner says:

          I’m loyal to the game. I have friends on the UM staff and kids I’ve coached are on the team too. I would bet that if you asked any of them their opinion on the game “close” wouldn’t be their definition. It was a strong showing for a first year team. I’m not denying that, but your subjective definition of close isn’t supported by any facts either. If the average is “nearly 5” and this was 4 it makes it an average game. If you really think that Vasileff’s goal with :24 left on the game clock against all the UDM subs makes this a “close” game because of NCAA averages we’ll never agree. If you know the game and were there this was not a close game. Strong showing by Michigan, poor game by UDM, but that doesn’t make it close.

          Jacksonville was a close game for Michigan. UDM was not.

          • CKLaxalum says:

            If you honestly think only 1-goal games are close, or that UDM and UofM aren’t two similar teams (at this point), then we simply won’t agree on those topics.

            Head-to-head aside, how do you ‘explain’ the comparable scores in 5 of the 6 games versus their common opponents?

            FYI, NCAA team scoring statistics are calculated in tenths and hundredths, so you simply can’t say “4 is close to 5”. (i.e. there’s a big difference between a .200 batting average versus a .300 hitter or an .800 save percentage versus .900)

            Likewise, UDM has a plan and they’re building upon it, but they haven’t won anything nor arrived yet. Give them time. They’ll get there. In fact, their story is (and will be) all the more impressive given certain limitations that they face.

  8. Tully's Dad says:

    Michigan could not best UDM last year or this year unless Detroit clearly shot themselves in the foot so severely they couldn’t recover. Against U of M, Detroit benched maini (second best attackmen) the first half, he comes in the game and its never in question again. Tullys scheme let Michigan stay in the game. Michigan gets blown out by MSMs. UDM keeps it close until the benches empty against notredame. In 4 years, Michigan will be far ahead of UDM and potentially a contender. But right now, last season and this season, Detroit out classes Michigan.

    A lot of teams expected just to blow out Michigan and came out soft; Detroit did that. But Michigan had a lot of confidence in themselves and always came out firing (which is encouraging). But as soon as the teams woke up against them, they won.

    • AndyD says:

      I don’t think teams will underestimate Michigan this year. In that way I think this year will be even tougher than last. We haven’t seen their schedule yet, but you know it will be really challenging again. Plus the new rules don’t exactly work in Michigan’s favor. Speeding up the game is never what a less talented or younger team wants. It’s exactly what they will want once they have had a few recruiting classes come in, but for now it’s just going to stack things against them a bit more. UDM, a team that already plays faster and looser than most, will be much better suited to handle the changes this year.

  9. Tully's Dad says:

    It’s going to be tough to beat a team that nearly has every position being filled by 3rd and 4th year starters, some of which all conference, with first and second year players.

  10. CKLaxalum says:

    No doubt UDM has more D1 experience than UofM. However, depth, saavy, and talent are all debatable points. For example, UDM has been criticized (in some circles) for its looser (some say undisciplined) style of play.

    Also, keep in mind that Michigan plays a tougher schedule than UDM, which gives the Wolverines a bit of an advantage in one area.

  11. Wowzer says:

    This year, UofM will probably have a tougher schedule. The Titan’s premier game is against Navy in Annapolis, an extremely cool place, and storied program, but they really have fallen off the past few years.

    I don’t think talent is an arguable point yet. Nor will it be until they have the national leader in some statistical category, or all-conference players. Yes, I realize they play in a tougher confrence. But, Houtby and Hebden are light years away from anything pole the maize have. Shayne Adams is a better shooter than anyone Michigan has. Aj Levell is a better goalie than anyone Michigan has.

  12. CKLaxalum says:

    Strength of schedule:

    2012: UofM (39), UDM (58)

    UDM previous years: 54 (2011), 58 (2010), 49 (2009)

    UofM players weren’t eligible for conference awards in 2012. Also note that national statistical rankings are far from an exact science in determining individual talent, given varying levels of competition. If two teams/individuals were in the same conference, it would be a much better comparison, but still not exact.

  13. 734 lax says:

    udm non-conf schedule
    @Ohio State
    @ Navy
    Robert Morris

    • WolvinLA says:

      That’s really two tough games, and not even elite tough. Detroit will likely play one team all season that goes to the tournament, and they’ll be going for auto-bid reasons only. That’s a weak schedule.

  14. Facts says:

    Houtby is a team canada duel in denver member. I’d say he’s the, if not one of, best LSMs in the nation. Their S.O.S. goes down because of the MAAC, but OSU, Georgetown, UNC isn’t exactly an east out of conference. Nor was Maryland, OSU, Lehigh, and MSM.

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